Posts tagged "Yuen Qiu"

Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

A review of Kung Fu Hustle aka Gong Fu

Fig. 1 – Title credit for Kung Fu Hustle

2004
Directed by Stephen Chow Sing-Chi
Action Directors Yuen Woo-Ping and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo

Fig. 2 – Axe Gang members dance in a downward triangle representing their subscribing to baser emotions

Abstract

Gong Fu (hereafter Kung Fu Hustle), is a perfect representation of human nature, complete with characters representing the ego, the super-ego, and the id. The setting and characters are mired in the secret world of Jiang Hu. Characters grow and evolve through the film, throwing off their layers of subterfuge and revealing their true selves.

Fig. 3 – Pig Sty Alley

Introduction

As the opening credits of Kung Fu Hustle play, a butterfly flutters through a canyon that is a winding, twisting maze. A pullback reveals the canyon forms the characters of the title of the film, Gong Fu/Kung Fu Hustle. The butterfly’s presence foreshadows the final act, subconsciously readying the viewers for the change they will see. The canyon walls becoming the title let the viewers know that everything we need to see is there, we just have to look in the proper way.

Kung Fu Hustle is a martial arts comedy. At time the action becomes deliberately cartoony and over the top, those instances serving both comedic elements and further exaggerating the underlying role of the nature of humanity. Kung Fu Hustle‘s cartoonishness comes partially from it being among the last of the mo lei tau films, Stephen Chow growing as an artist and expanding his films’ reach to use things beyond sheer ridiculousness to get points across.

Fig. 4 – Cartoonish violence stylizes Landlord’s cover of having no martial skills

Characters:

Sing (Stephen Chow Sing-Chi) – Sing is the protaganist who goes through a standard protaganist’s journey. He begins down on his luck and with major obstacles in life, only to overcome the odds and save the day as the Chosen One.
Sing’s Friend (Lam Tze-Chung) – Sing has a sidekick who follows him on his schemes. His friend is another good hearted person who can’t seem to do anything evil despite his numerous attempts.
Landlady (Yuen Qiu) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlady refers to herself as “The Little Dragon Maiden” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Landlord (Yuen Wah) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlord refers to himself as “Yang Guo” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Axe Gang (Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Lam Suet, and numerous others) – The Axe Gang controls the underworld of the city. They dress almost as sharp as the blades of their axes.
The Beast (Bruce Leung Siu-Lung) – The Beast takes his Chinese name – Dark God of the Fire Clouds – from books written by pulp novelist Liu Can Yang.
Fig. 5 – Sing traumatizes children subconsciously repeating his own tragic life-altering childhood

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Kung Fu Sweetheart (Review)

My Kung Fu Sweetheart

aka Ye maan bei kup

2006
Starring
Cecilia Cheung as Phoenix Shangguan Lingfeng
Yuen Qiu as Mom
Yuen Wah as Dad
Wong Yat-Fei as Principal
Leo Ku as Dragon
Sammy Leung as Kiddie Kim
Hui Siu-Hung as Lincoln Lam
Ma Shuchao as White Eyebrows
Wong Jing as Uncle Itchiban
Directed by Wong Jing

Wong Jing directs another campy action-fest, and manages to score a hit. A send-up of kung fu films, Cecilia Cheung stars as the daughter of two kung fu masters, who learns the skills herself, but must fit into the modern world. Of course, we have an evil kung fu master, school rivalries, a guy in a falcon suit, and love to deal with. The parents are played by Kung Fu Hustle‘s own odd couple, Yuen Qiu and Yuen Wah. They seem to be making a good living acting together, besides this, they also have starred in two Kung Fu Mahjong films together. We also get a crop of campy actors mixed with many established actors, and even Wong Jing himself as Uncle Itchiban. For some reason this film rings better than most of Wong Jing’s recent fair, probably due to the cast working together well enough that you don’t notice when it drags. The gags flow fast, for the most part, and for once the campiness of Hong Kong cinema works out for the best. Though I’s still prefer that Hong Kong put out more stronger fair (and it has been trying recently), camp like this makes the wait between good films bearable.

We start in the distant past of 20 years ago. A young girl sees two people flying past the moon and rushes to tell her parents. Her parents are the smiling Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu, who both tell her she’s seeing things. They are the Landlords from Kung Fu Hustle. Yuen Wah has been making films for 35 years, having the ability to duplicate the martial arts styles of many people. This let him be Bruce Lee’s double for a while. Yuen Qiu was an actress for a short time in the 1970’s before retiring, only to return after Steve Chow begged her to take the role of the Landlady in Kung Fu Hustle, and has since then done well for herself in the film industry. Their daughter is named Phoenix, and later a teenage Phoenix is awakened by storms, and a large snake and cat are loose in the house. These animals are really Kung Fu villains, who have arrived to kill her parents, which you should realize by now are really Martial Arts masters. They save her and have a neat fight with the villains, who morph from animal to person a few times during the battle (though we could always use more morphing shots.) Snake Man and Cat Girl are eventually taken down, with Phoenix aiding by slipping up some poles so Cat Girl can’t grip. Phoenix is eager to learn Kung Fu, and her parents are more than happy to tell her she’s old enough to go to Mount Hiu and learn. This is amazingly coincidental that she discovered their secret on the very day she became old enough to get lessons herself! Okay, it’s amazingly cheesy. But this is a cheesy film, so we’ll take it at what it is. Next thing we know, we’re hang gliding over Mount Hui as Phoenix looks down and sees all the Martial Artists training, including a girl in scarlet with pigtails who has a determined look on her face. She’s the main rival, Rouge, who will compete with Phoenix to be the best of the best. This is apparent when she doesn’t return Phoenix’s wave. So, if you ever want to hide that you are a villain, be friendly, it’s what politicians do all the time, as well as John Wayne Gacy, though I’d say anyone fooled by his clown costume deserves it. Clowns are evil, and always will be evil. Deal with it.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 17, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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